By Donna Houseman
We continue to see a softening in the market for modern stamps, particularly for those issued between 1960 and 1990. This softening is reflected in the recently published Vol. 3 of the 2017 Scott Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue. The values for stamps issued during this period are affected by currency fluctuations, and because these issues were issued in such abundance, the market was oversaturated, bringing down values.
A total of 2,490 value changes are found in the Channel island of Jersey, which underwent a massive review. Most value changes are decreases, reflecting a weakening of the British pound. The Jersey Wildlife Preservation Trust set (Scott 49-52) drops from $15.50 mint to $6.25. The £10 Millennium stamp (Scott 933) dropped from $40 both mint and used to $25 mint and $22 used. No. 1296, the £3 stamp commemorating the 60th wedding anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, fell from $12.50 mint and used to $9.
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Gibraltar received a full, line-by-line review for the 2017 edition of the catalog, resulting in slight increases in the early issues. Decreases are found from the 1950s through 2005. Values for stamps from 2006 to date show many increases. The £1 denomination (122) of the 1948 Silver Wedding issue drops from $70 mint to $65, and from $97.50 used to $80. The value of the 1966 sheet of six featuring puppies (702) was lowered slightly, from $6.50 mint and used to $6.
A review of Iran yielded almost 700 value changes. Many of the modern issues saw increases. Stamps issued from 2012 to present can be difficult to find. Among the early issues, the value for the 1907-09 engraved set picturing Mohammed-Ali Shah Qajar (Nos. 434-445) soared from $844 unused to $976. The used value for the set remains unchanged at $91.80. The 1915 surcharged stamps, Nos. 541-542, jumped from $60 and $90 unused, respectively, to $75 and $110. The footnote below this set cautions that counterfeit surcharges on reprints abound. The 1918 2-krans overprint (601), previously valued at $125, is now valued at $175. The 1950 set commemorating the reburial of Reza Shah Pahlavi (Nos. 933-934) rose from $48 unused to $60, and from $25 used to $35. The vertical pair, imperforate horizontally of the 1965 2-rial Middle East Rover Moot (Boy Scout assembly), Scott 1329a, soars from $150 to $200. Iran’s 2012 souvenir sheet issued for Sacred Defense Week and World Post Day shows a substantial increase for a relatively inexpensive stamp, from 55¢ both mint and used to $2.25.
A complete vetting of Guyana resulted in more than 1,400 value changes. Stamps issued prior to 1986 continue the downward trend. The $1 (Scott 32S) of the 1967-68 set comprising locally overprinted stamps of British Guiana drops from $4.75 mint to $3.50. The $2 reflects a similar decline, going from $5 mint to $3.50. A decrease in mint values also is shown in the value for the set of 1978-80 Butterflies stamps (279-289A), which drops from $56.25 to $36. The 1980 sheet of 12 (317) issued for the London 1980 International Stamp Exhibition falls from $6 mint and used to $4.75. Slight increases are reflected in the values for the surcharged and overprinted stamps issued toward the end of 1986. The 200¢ surcharge on No. 192 (1500) goes up from $10 mint and $3 used to $11 and $4. The 30c sheet of 12 overprinted “1986” on No. 329 (1503) rose from $25 mint and used to $27.50 both ways, and the $15 on $3.50 (1504) increased slightly from $45 mint and $20 used to $47.50 mint and $22.50 used. The 1988 British Guiana Post Office 125th Anniversary sheet of 25 25¢ stamps (1873) jumped from $32.50 mint to $40 used.
A total of 271 value changes were among the stamps issued for Middle East Forces in the Great Britain Offices Abroad section of the catalog. Regular stamps and postage due stamps of Great Britain from 1937-42 were overprinted for use in Ethiopia, Cyrenaica, Eritrea, the Dodecanese, and Somalia. The review of this section of Great Britain resulted in increases in both the London printings and the Cairo printings. Stamps overprinted for use in Eritrea include the 1948-49 surcharges on the 1937-42 stamps of Great Britain. Nos. 1-13 moves from $63.25 mint to $88.50. The used value for the set remains at $75.70. The 1951 set (Nos. 27-33) jumps from $62.50 mint to $75, and the value for the set used increases from $80.50 to $100. Among the stamps surcharged for use in Tripolitania, Scott 14-26 soars from $91.30 mint to $162.50, and the used value increases from $146.55 to $338.35. Increases also are reflected in the values for postage dues of Tripolitania. Nos. J6-J10 jump from $97.50 mint to $114.50; the set used rises from $392.50 to $465.
Scattered increases are found throughout Guatemala, resulting in 363 value changes. The 2005 America issue featuring flora and fauna (Scott 528-531) jumps from $10 mint and used to $18.40. The souvenir sheet from this set (532) increases from $6.50 mint and used to $11. The 2009 1-quetzel National Marine Defense 50th Anniversary stamp (601) moves from 30¢ both mint and used to $2.
Numerous changes and additions appear among the Ahmad Shah Qajar issues of Iran. The reorganization began in the 2016 Scott Classic Specialized Catalogue of Stamps and Covers 1840-1940 and has been further expanded in this Vol. 3. The stamps are reorganized by tall portrait (23 millimeters) and short portrait 22½mm and by perforation, resulting in 160 new listings.
Varieties were added to German East Africa overprints issued under Belgian Congo occupation. An inverted overprint is now listed as Scott N18a for the 1916 15-centime stamp. It is valued at $225 in unused condition. A double overprint has been added as N23a for the 1-franc stamp of the same set. No value has been assigned.
A new note has been added to the Isle of Man listings for Scott 146a stating that “the booklet panes were printed in strips of three panes: No. 146a (4p stamps in the middle); separated by a gutter from No. 146a (4p stamps on top); and separated by another gutter, from a pane of four 4p. The unsevered strips were available from the Philatelic Bureau.”
As always, we encourage you to pay special attention to the Number Additions, Deletions & Changes found on page 1600 in this volume. For information about the 2017 Scott catalogs, contact your favorite stamp dealer, or call Amos Media at 1-800-488-5349. Also visit the Amos Advantage website. Digitial Scott eCatalogues are available as well.